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HOW TO SELECT RIGHT PACKAGING FOR YOUR READY TO EAT PRODUCTS

For ready to eat products, packaging plays a vital role in preserving the quality of food, extending its shelf life and making it look attractive. With the upsurge in demand for ready to eat foods, the packaging technology is continuously evolving to facilitate customer convenience, minimize processing and keeping the product as natural as possible. This blog discusses different packaging technologies and their suitability to your product as well as budget.

Packaging Technology:

The choice of packaging technology depends on the nature of food (Acidity level, moisture content), expected shelf life (few weeks, months, years) and the conditions in which it would be stored (Room temperature, frozen).  As such the packaging technology for ready to eat foods can broadly be divided into three categories.

Thermal Heating: Food is packed in pouches/containers and heated to high temperature. The thermal heating can be done through different technologies including Retort, MATS and Hot fill & pasteurization.

MAP (Modified Atmosphere Packaging):  Filled and packaged product is exposed to UV and then MAP sealed. MAP sealing refers to removing the air from the pack and replacing it with a combination of nitrogen and carbon dioxide that can extend the shelf life of the food.

ASEPTIC: The product and package/container are sterilized separately first and then product is packed and sealed in sterile conditions.

More details on the packaging technology are available in picture 1.

Picture: 1 
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Source: Printpack Packaging Supplies (India) Pvt Ltd.

Costs

The cost of packaging   has two elements; fixed cost of the equipment and cost of the packaging material (cups/pouches). The fixed cost varies significantly across technologies as can be seen below.

Pic 2: Cost of packaging Technology

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The cost of packaging material depends on the shape and weight of the packaging container. As such the cost of packaging material does not depend on the technology that is being used for packaging.

How can we help?

Are you looking to set up a ready to eat/convenience food unit, we can

  1. Help you understand the market, technology, capital and operating costs
  2. Prepare the project proposal and assist you in obtaining bank funding
  3. Technical consultation to assist you identify right machinery, packaging material providers

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Call us @ 800 888 4932,

Write to us- bchhatre@finetrain.com

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Flexible packaging: Opportunity for SMEs

The Indian flexible packaging market stands at $5 billion (Rs. 3.36 thousand Crores)[1] and is growing at little over 15 per cent per annum. Rapid development of personal care, pharmaceuticals, and food and beverages industries is contributing to this demand. Considering this growth opportunity, many international players are entering the Indian market through mergers and acquisitions route. In FY 2014, Finnish company Huhtamaki acquired India based Positive Packaging Ltd, in 2015 Australia based Amcor purchased  Packaging  India Private Limited (a subsidiary of Mumbai based Essel Propack Limited), and more recently in 2016,Essentra Plc, a UK based packaging  acquired pharmaceutical packaging business of India’s Kamsri Printing & Packaging Pvt. Ltd.

Flexible packaging is an interesting business opportunity for Small and medium enterprises (SME), as it allow them to do business with other SMEs.  Majority of flexible packaging demand is from food related industry, an industry largely made of small and medium enterprises. Since the clientele are small businesses requiring customized services, they often need a service provider that is also a small business and is willing to devote time and effort to meet their specific requirements.

Flexible packaging is far lighter and can therefore contain more material per pack, flexible packaging’s pack to product ratio is much lower (1:40 vis-à-vis 1:10 in case of PET packs)[2] as compared to that of rigid packaging. Flexible packaging also allowsmanufacturers to produce packs in functional and complex shapes facilitating user convenience such as squeeze ability and reclose ability. Advance technology in printing provides aesthetic features, thus making products attractive to the final consumers.

1. Market:

India’s annual manufacturing capacity is 30 Million Metric Tonnes[3].The overall flexible packaging end-user industry can be divided in Food and Non-food sector. The food sector comprises 48% of the packaging market at 14.4 MMT/annum; the rest goes to non-food such as Pharmaceuticals, Personal care, Tobacco and others.

1.1  Figure 1[4]:

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In the food sector, the highest share is with Milk and dairy segment. India is the largest producer of milk in the world, at an estimated 40 Crores liters per day and a market size of around Rs. 80,000 Crores[5]Given the large opportunity, many international players such as Nestle, Lactalis SA, Arla foods Savera, Danone, etc. have entered the Indian market. Since cold food supply chain is a challenge in India and dairy products are highly perishable, the demand for high quality packaging that extends the shelf life of the product is evident.

Other than dairy, food sector also comprises packaging needs of confectionery and chocolates, processed fruits and vegetables, etc.

The non-food sector is ruled by the Pharmaceuticals. Indian pharmaceutical industry (Valued at Rs. 9.07 thousand crores[6]) is growing at a CAGR 15%. India ranks third in terms volume and 14th in terms of value, in the world. Pharmaceuticals can further be sub-divided into; Bulk/ drug, Formulations and Devices. While  bulk drugs market is dominated by rigid packaging such as PET containers, glass bottles, metals containers and cans etc, It is formulations and devices that drive the demand for the flexible packaging. Packaging market for pharmaceuticals is difficult to crack due to its inherent challenges in Indian scenario. The two major challenges are:

  • Strict regulations: Pharmaceutical industry requires a superior level of safety to that of food packaging and therefore the packaging provider needs to meet stringent guidelines as per Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940.
  • Counterfeiting threats: Due to lack of patent protection, manufacturers in pharmaceutical industry are reluctant to share the constituents of pharmaceuticals they produce. The knowledge of constituents is required in deciding the composite of the plastic types and grades to be used in the pack.

2. Flexible Consumer Industry in AP and Telangana:

The table below enlists typical consumer industries and major brands under these industries based in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

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3. Raw material requirements and technical specifications:

A flexible packaging material is a combination of many films that are laminated together. Most commonly used raw material includes; BoPP (Bi-axially oriented Polypropylene), Bo PET (Bi-axially oriented Polyethylene terephthalate), Nylon, Polyester, Poly propylene etc.

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4. Cost of project for starting a flexible packaging unit:

To start a flexible packaging unit producing a little over 200MT of laminates monthly, the minimum capital requirement would be upwards of Rs. 6 crores including machines, infrastructure and working capital. The budget would also depend on the market you would like to target and therefore the quality of machines.  The quality of printing machine is critical, as bad printing quality can lead of rejection of the material and adds to the cost.

5. Steps to consider before starting a flexible packaging unit:

First step would be to assess demand and supply of the packaging industry in your area, and identify the niche that you would like to serve. You may want to identify key clients that you would target and accordingly choose your marketing strategy.  You would also need to build a strong technical team that can meet client’s quality expectations, create innovative products and minimize wastage. As such, the following aspects need to be analysed before starting a flexible packaging industry

  • Market opportunity: Number and types of various flexible packaging consumer companies in the market such as FMCG, Personal care, Food and Beverages manufacturers, etc, their current vendors, requirements and pain points.
  • Competitive landscape: Number of players in the targeted market, their product profile, their clientele, number of years in business etc.
  • Production process: Raw material, man power & machinery required
  • Fixed and operational costs and profitability: Estimation on total initial capital required, working capital assessment, projected revenues, earnings and profitability.

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[1] As per UflexLtd. investor presentation

[2]Source: FPA flexible packaging association

[3]Source: Business Standard article – January 15, 2016

[4]Source: www.consultmcg.com

[5]Source: Business today article  – June 5, 2016

[6]Source: Wiki, BDMAI, Ministry of Pharmaceuticals.

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Business Opportunity in Plastics and Injection Modulded Products

Plastic products are used everywhere including in agriculture, automobile, construction, medical and packaging industries, besides households.  No wonder then that demand for plastic products in India has been growing at more than 10% per annum for the last 5 decades, and growth is only expected to be stronger going forward.

Injection moulding is a specific application of plastic, whereby it is possible to fabricate solid parts by pouring molten plastic into a cavity/mould. Injection moulded plastics find applications across agriculture, poultry, packaging industries and in house hold products.

Injection Moulding: opportunities for small businesses

Many of these industries can be set up within a budget of under INR 1 crore and offer attractive returns over a medium term period

Picture 1- Injection moulding opportunities for small businesses

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 Raw material availability

These moulded plastic products are largely made of Poly Propylene (PP), High Density Poly Ethylene (HDPE) and Polyethylene terephthalate (PET).  Such polymers are available in plenty throughout the country.

Machinery Cost and Power Requirements

Typically, one needs three types of machines for the injection moulding process:

  1. Injection moulding machines that typically cost upward of Rs. 20 lakh
  2. Cost of moulds varies and some moulds can cost as much as the machine itself.
  3. Ancillary machines such as chillers, cooling towers, cranes etc (up to 20-30% of project cost)

These machines consume a lot of power, which can range up to 50% of the processing costs.

Project Viability

Viability of an injection moulding unit depends on its ability to sell large volumes of products and to keep costs under control.  The location of the unit is critical – it should have access to market as well as continuous availability of power.

A comprehensive market research about product, pricing and competition is a must before undertaking such a venture.

How can we help you?

FineTrain enables entrepreneurs to assess and understand new business opportunities. Our services include market research and business feasibility studies. We also offer support in executing your ideas by connecting you with sector experts and professionals.

We can help you assess feasibility of setting up an injection moulded plastic unit, understand the competitive landscape, analyse the capital requirements, profitability and time to breakeven.

 

Reach us at:

admin@finetrain.com,

bchhatre@finetrain.com
800 888 4932

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